Otter Creek Black IPA | Otter Creek Brewing

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Otter Creek Black IPAOtter Creek Black IPA
Very Good
Otter Creek Black IPAOtter Creek Black IPA

Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing
Vermont, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Traditionally untraditional, Black IPAs—also known as Cascadian Dark Ales or American Black Ales—originated here in Vermont under the auspices of American craft brewing pioneer Greg Noonan. This rich, delicious brew fuses pronounced hop aromas and darkly roasted malts in a style born in the Green Mountains.

60 IBU

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 270 | Ratings: 860
Photo of q33jeff
2.4/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5


Parking lot, Post Hockey. Bottle.

AROMA: Hops,Petrol
LOOK: didn't see much…..drank from bottle.
TASTE: Tar. Bread. Pretty flavorful and alcohol is masked well for an IPA.
FEEL: Medium body . some Liveliness


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Photo of predikit
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep brown, settles in the glass black. Left a light tan that dissipated quickly, leaves a moderate amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell has hints of coffee and smoke.

Not getting much IPA in this black IPA. Hop character has almost no presence, flavor is dominated by an earthy smoked character and coffee backbone. The mix works really well. Roasted bitter takes the finish, fairly dry.

Thinner than I expected it to be after the pour, medium light bodied, medium carbonation, slight residue left behind, but mostly clean on exit.

Not a bad black IPA, but not the best I've had either.

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Photo of tekstr1der
3.79/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black pour with small tan head. Aroma of citrus, malt, and some alcohol. Initial sweet and malty flavor yields to a hoppy, yet smooth and clean finish. Pleasant aftertaste of roast.

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Photo of MDHopster
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Interesting. Dark amber black when held to light, tan head about 1.5 inches poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pub glass. Moderate lacing on glass. Herbal pine and smoked nutty nose. Smoky nutty malt flavor dominates hoppy bitterness creating an interesting and surprising contrast. Not unpleasant but to me, it looks and smells better than it tastes. Mouthfeel is muddled, somewhat soft for an IPA but the bite seems to come from the carbonation and smokiness of the dark roast malt than from the hop bitters.

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Photo of pbechtel
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great beer! Started this snowy night with a taste of this thick, dark IPA. Sweet, but not too sweet. Smooth, but just enough flavor. Nice aroma. Looks good enough to drink poured in a clear pint glass. Overall, I would easily recommend this beer to others and drink it again.

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Photo of SABERG
3.66/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle dated 12/09/14 into a modified tulip glass.
A - Deep dark, crisp carbonation capped with mocha colored foamy goodness.
Laced glass the entire time.
S - That roast malt and hops dance a beautiful dance. Hints of cocoa and chocolate are
blended with citrus notes.
T - Complimentary flavors well blended, with oily hops leading and the malt base floating them the entire way. Cocoa notes combine with resin to keep it interesting.
F - Slick, and firm in the palate with some lingering, the carbonation is well done.
Exits with a fine hop notes.
O - A fine treat from Otter Creek. Quite enjoyable.

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Photo of gonzo000
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is a very good beer. Not the biggest fan of Otter Creek in general, but the Black IPA, which drinks more like a black ale - not as hoppy as typical IPAs - was very good.

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Photo of anthony23cippy
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Poured from bottle into snifter, pours a dark brown color with almost no head, good lacing 5 minutes after the pour. Smell is typical of a black IPA, though less inviting than most I've had. Smells of the dark malts used and of hops (thats all I got anyways). Taste is of pine and smokiness, again typical of a black IPA. Mouthfeel is light and watery, Carbonation is just right (a hint more could even be taken). Overall, nothing great, but with a limited craft beer selection at the local gas station it'll do.

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Photo of Nightwing
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Poured from bottle. Aroma of coffee. Almost completely black, with minimal head. Mild taste. Full bodied, creamy texture. Overall a really great brew. I was tasting other IPA’s while drinking this so it tasted very much like a stout to me. I would be curious to try this with other stouts to make that comparison.

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Photo of hophugger
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Good color, almost black. Head was about 2 fingers, maybe a little more. Head developed quickly and held for a decent amount of time. Flavor is malty with a little amount of hop bitterness to balance it out. Just a tad too sweet for me as far as IPA's go, but overall, a very nice, drinkable beer.......

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Photo of BMFR1811
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 12oz bottle while in Stowe vt on a heady topper expedition.

-Appearance- dark, dark, almost black, one finger tan head that quickly dissipated. Only light lacing

-Smell- very light citrus, I get almost a smoky malt aroma- not anything I have smelled before, kind of odd

-Taste- initial malt, a slight astringency (not unpleasant) from the dark malts, chocolate, coffee but a slight smokiness too. Finishes with citrus, grapefruit, lingering bitterness

-Mouthfeel- a little bit too much carbonation, with the hop and malt bite, foams a bit too much in my mouth

-Overall- my introduction to black ipa's, different for sure, not unpleasant but different. I wouldn't go out of my way to pick up this style again but it's good, -BMFR-

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.59/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a standard pint glass: color is dark brown to near black, head is light tan, small bubbles and presents about 1/2 inch thick then dissipates to a thick ring and top.

Smell is very enticing: nice malt forward aroma, good roast, toast and some chocolate, not too sweet, grassy and subtle fruity hop aromas.

Taste is a little thinner or maybe dryer than expected: malts are roast and some chocolate, maybe some toffee and touch of caramel; hops are subtle, grassy, not overpowering in flavor but some noticeable bitterness.

Mouthfeel is where it seems to trend towrads IPA status instead of stout, it maintains the dryness and bitterness from the taste.

Overall, a solid brew, not too sweet for dark ipa but not quite enough hop presence to get it too stand out, yet very drinkable.

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Photo of fscottkey
4.06/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Whoa! I did a non-aggressive pour into a 20 oz nonic pint producing 5 fingers of head and a near foam over. I had to cease pouring before I got all 12 oz. That being said it is a nice black color. The head is foamy tan - but excessive in size. (After reading other reviews I have to assume the head was an anomaly - perhaps there was something in the glass).

S: hops and fruit smells. Some citrus and pine.

T: Really pleasant taste - no bitter at all. Hops and light pine up front and a hint of cocoa on the finish.

M: Very smooth. Carbonation is just right. Highly drinkable and easy on the palate. No lingering dryness or aftertaste.

O: After the disaster of a pour I expected things to continue to be bad for this one. However, everything is in balance. Nice balance of hops, low bitter, some smoky cocoa on the finish and really smooth mouth feel. I would like to drink this one again.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - pours opaque, a thin but solid cover of light mocha. Complete lace covering across the pond.

Aroma - nice blend of grapefruity citrus and coffee. Goes a little light on setup but still maintains good roastiness.

Taste - good roasty opening, coffee notes in support. A citrusy edge but mostly the hops provide some balancing bitterness. The swallow and aftertaste continue the great balance between the malt and hops. Finishes clean, a trace of espresso, very nice.

Mouthfeel - crisp, medium-bodied, on par.

Overall - excellent session beer, lots of flavor in an all-season style.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.19/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Bottle from The Lazy Dog
Pours a solid dark brown with faint garnet highlights at the edges and a decent sized creamy beige head that persists for a good long time before sticking lots of lace to the sides. Aromas of roasted coffee with a hint of caramel and some light earth and citrus notes. The flavor follows the aroma to a T. Roast and light chocolate and caramel with a light earthy hop flavor. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a slick almost gritty mouthfeel. Virtually non existent hop aroma makes me want to call this a porter or dry stout. The flavor has some hop to it, but the beer in this bottle is either old or there aren't enough hops in here to call this an IPA. MEH!

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Photo of u2carew
3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz longneck bottle
A) Pours with a big tan head that settles slowly leaving a sticky lacing around the glass. Opaque body. Semi-sticky lacing on the drink down.
S) Bready. Subtle roasted coffee tones. Not overly aromatic.
T) Toasted grains. Mellow hop bite throughout. Pleasant balance of malts and hops.
M) Medium body. Slightly dry in the finish.
O) A good brew. I'd have another one.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A deep brown almost black pour with 2 fingers of fluffy tan head, great lacing and slow dissipation. The aroma is a bit off putting - rust, coconut, soap, coffee.. Definitely intriguing. The flavor is much better thankfully. A mellow arrangement of chocolate, roasted grains and grassy hops. Medium in body with a good amount of carbonation to distinguish it from a stout. A bit too herbal for my preference, but not a bad example of the style by any means.

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Photo of Brad007
3.23/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Somehow, I managed to miss out on reviewing this Black IPA.

Pours a dark brown/black color with a brown head that leaves lacing on my glass. Colorwise, it leans more towards a porter than a stout.

Juicy hop aroma punctuates the nose. A bit of cocoa, dark coffee as well.

Toasty with a weak citrus hop bite. Malt shines through more. Not very memorable.

Ditto for the mouthfeel. It's missing anything other than the remnants of the hops and the toasty malt bill.

I think my tastes either changed over time or I grew tired of this newer style. This bottle came out of a mixed 12 pack bottled in early January. Either way, don't let my opinion stop you from trying this beer. It's a great start for those who wish to explore American Black Ales.

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Photo of NedShakeshaft
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a pint glass. And what a pour it was. Dark brown, near black body upon which sat a billowy, white-brown head that lasted quite a while and left pretty, intertwining lacing. Gorgeous.

Despite me serving this beer fairly warm (55-60 degrees?), the nose was understated. What was there was enticing. Roasted chocolate malt with pine notes as well as something smoky and fatty (bacon?) beneath. Maybe a faint note of dark citrus.

The taste was surprisingly complex. The piney, grapefruity hops hit right away, but they quickly give way to the malts. A lot of malt character here: bitter chocolate, cocoa, caramel, black cherry, and that smoky (bacony!!) hint. Some peppery spice hits on the way down. It sounds like there might be too much going on, but that's really not the case. The flavors blend together quite well for the style.

It has a velvety, porter-like texture, yet is well-carbonated. Finishes dry. Some coffee bitterness at the end, as well as a moderate hop sting. Again, sounds like a load of contrasts, but it is remarkably easy-going.

This beer sits somewhere between a porter and a black IPA, but finds a way to work. It's certainly challenging enough to take your time with, yet drinkable enough to put several away. Well done.

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Photo of rgturtle
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Not quite black, but nonetheless opaque.
S - Had a pretty steady alternation between malt and hop; neither overpowered the other, nor overwhelmed in general.
T - Big mouthful of coffee; didn't pick up as much on the hops as I thought I would, based on the nose. Bitterness lingered a while.
M - Pretty heavy; warming.
O - A really solid beer that stands out more with food. Paired it with shepherd's pie on a second tasting and it matched up well on a cold, rainy New England night with comfort food.

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Photo of philbe311
3.61/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A full three fingers worth of slightly late to develop densely packed light mocha colored frothy goodness with a bit of a rocky top... Very nice retention... Almost completely still with just a stray carbonation bubble here and there with a few bubbles just clinging to the sides of the glass... The color is a dark deep brown, not quite black... A good bit of lacing clings to the glass...

S - At the forefront is a nice mix of light sweet chocolate and roasted malts... The hop presence if fairly subdued and takes on a very earthy presence... Much more reminiscent of a Milk Stout... Not bad by any means, but not quite right for the style...

T - Toffee... Roasted malts... Light milk chocolate... The hop presence really doesn't rise until the deep finish... They take on a muted mix of earthiness and pine...

M - Medium bodied... Limited carbonation... Clean and crisp... A touch of lushness...

D - Average at best in terms of both style and overall beerdom... Not a bad beer, but it's just kind of there... I would have never known this was an American Black Ale if it weren't listed on the able... Seems to closer resemble either a Milk Stout or Foreign / Export Stout... I would neither recommend nor revisit...

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Photo of JMScowcroft
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's - Otter Creek Black IPA, poured into an Otter Creek pint glass.

Look - Pours a thin brown-black with a huge fizzy mocha head that dissipates slowly and leaves good lacing.

Smell - Aroma is roasted malts with just a touch of hops. Slight dark fruits.

Taste - Same as the nose but definitely more noticeable hops here, shoulda dry hopped it a little.

Mouthfeel - This brew excels here for sure. A light-medium body and moderate carbonation. Dry and exceptionally drinkable, almost sessionable, and the 6% ABV is nowhere to be seen.

Overall - This is one of the better black IPAs for sure. Easy to put down several of these, but of course with such drinkability often comes a lack of richness, body, and flavor. Still a solid brew though.

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Photo of NiceTaps
3.69/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

A- Opaque- dirty motor oil like- almost black. Big fluffy mocha-tan colored head, tapers to film, decent lacing.

S- roasted coffee malts and cocoa. Earthy hops, but less than I'd expect from an IPA.

T- Roasted coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate. Sight hop pine.

M- Medium body, tingly carbonation; hop and chocolate bitterness.

O- It was fresh, but the hops don't make it to IPA grade for me. Pale ale, perhaps. Still a decent drink.

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Photo of beyah
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into Belgian goblet.
A- As dark as you can get and not be black, head is medium tan lacing is good.

S- Roasted malts, not very malty, hops take a back seat.

T- Roast malt flavor, but not overly so, needs more hops to be an IPA in my book.

M-Medium mouthfeel, carbonation a bit high.

O- Beer was good and nothing was wrong with it. I could not call it an IPA needs more hops.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.99/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is better than most, a rich and decadent brew, now available year-round. it has a nice chalky dark brown color to it with a fluffy lighter brown head and a nose of chocolate malts, cocoa, bitter hops, and oatmeal. the hops balance but do not dominate as they usually do in this style, and I find this to be a real nicely put together beer, very approachable. my palate is greeted by warming chocolate notes from the malt long before I get any hops, which in the end turn out to be more bitter than flavorful, which I think works well with the dark roasted barley. full bodied creamy feel to this, thick and delicious, down easy for what it is. one of otter creeks better beers, I was impressed by this one from the first sip.

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Otter Creek Black IPA from Otter Creek Brewing
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 860 ratings